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Jason

Unique Cruise Experiences for Children

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Families across the world are constantly looking for the best family vacation options, and cruising has always been the best option. Whether you’re enticed by the myriad of fun features, grand sports complexes, dining/entertainment for all ages, or discount cruise deals, cruising is a phenomenal option for families with children. What you may not know is that many cruise lines offer special programs, unique features, and themed cruises for kids. Let’s take a look at some of the options and aspects that stand out from the rest.

Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program

Cruise Line: Paul Gauguin Cruises

Environmentalist, explorer, and educator Jean-Michel Cousteau (son of Jacques Cousteau) and the Ocean Futures Society joined forces with Paul Gauguin cruises to create the Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program. This program uses exciting hands-on activities and learning through experience to immerse and educate young explorers (cruise passengers aged 9-17) to French Polynesia’s natural beauty, wildlife, cultures, and more. Each onboard program for children will be hosted by experts from the Ocean Futures Society, and parents can even join too.

Destination: South Pacific & Tahiti

Dates: 2013 - June 26; September 21; November 2

2014 - March 12; June 14; August 30; October 25

Nerdel Program

Cruise Line: Celebrity Cruises

Seeing the importance of wellness and healthy eating habits rise in importance in recent years, Celebrity Cruises developed a partnership with The Nerdel Company and puppet/icon Nerdel to encourage healthy eating and promote active lifestyle through onboard fun activities all at once. Including puppet performances, healthy pizza making, singing, puzzles and games, puppeteering lessons, and even kid’s puppet performances for ‘Shipmates’ (ages 3-5) and ‘Cadets’ (ages 6-8), the Nerdel program will bring music, performance, education, and nutrition together for young cruisers. The program aims to educate on nutritional intelligence as well as empower younger children to take ownership of their physical fitness.

The Nerdel Program is available fleet wide.

DreamWorks Experience

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International

Children will surely be delighted by Royal Caribbean’s DreamWorks Experience (exclusively offered by Royal Caribbean International). Whether it’s a character meet n’ greet, enthralling exclusive performances, meals with your child’s favorite character, or 3D movies, there are fun activities and characters in your child’s future if you try the DreamWorks Experience onboard one of the Royal Caribbean cruise ships. In the summer of 2013, this will include cruise activities based around Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, and even How to Train Your Dragon (ice show).

Available on the following ships: Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, and Mariner of the Seas.

If you’re interested in checking out the popular sailings for these ships, visit this
Royal Caribbean cruise deals
page.

Nickelodeon at Sea

Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line

Exclusive to Norwegian Cruise Line, ‘Nickelodeon on Norwegian’, is an engaging and exciting onboard cruise experience for children and family cruisers. This super cool experience may include a Dora’s Dance Party (singing, silliness, and dancing) or Nickelodeon Arts & Crafts. Or, children may have an extra special breakfast (Nickelodeon’s Pajama Jam Breakfast) filled with a high-energy dance team, popular songs, and even a free photo with your child’s favorite character.

As you can see, there are some very unique onboard experiences/programs for children and the entire family. More and more often, cruise lines are trying to reach out to families with extraordinary programs and set themselves apart for the competition. If you and your family are thinking about taking a family cruise, talk to your travel agent about the newest and most popular children’s cruise experiences. Have you tried a unique onboard program for children? Tell us about it below!

Source: CruiseWeb.com


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I like the sound of the Paul Gauguin Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program. I'm not sure when we'll finally fit it in, but a South Seas cruise on the Paul Gauguin line is on my wish list.

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Very true Gina! I reread the article and I guess it’s more about specialty programs within the overall kid’s programs. No question Disney has the most amazing program overall!

Disney's special things within the children's programming are so cool... My son made Flubber when he was younger, had a late night pajama party with Goofy, played on a giant pirate ship straight out of Never Land beneath fiber optic stars, built and raced a car made out of vegetables, learned to draw Disney characters, he and I even got to be on a family game show called "Mickey Mania" together. SO much fun.

The Paul Gauguin program sounds really cool -- I would love to tag along for that! Royal has a really good kids' program, my son has always enjoyed his time onboard. Princess was the only line I would give a failing grade in that regard.

But DCL wins hands-down, not just from the sheer awesomeness of their kids' programming, but because of the little things they do to make life as a parent easier onboard. They don't nickle and dime you -- the kids' clubs are open all day, and they're open late. On other lines, they open and close and open and close, and then normally after 10pm it's just referred to as "group babysitting" -- and you have to pay for it. They have "family dining time", where your kids come to dinner with you and you enjoy meal time as a family, then the youth counselors come about an hour into dinner and escort them back to the kids' clubs to have more fun, while you get to enjoy some nice grownup time for the rest of your dinner. Win-win!

And I'm just going to shut up now or I'll talk all day, LOL. :biggrin:

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I think that article kind of left out the obvious... the masters of children's programming... :biggrin:

My boys both enjoyed the Disney program when they were little. And I bet they've upped their game since then.

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DCL wins hands-down, not just from the sheer awesomeness of their kids' programming, but because of the little things they do to make life as a parent easier onboard.

Disney pays a fortune for advertizing that doesn’t sound nearly as sincere as what you wrote Gina! Thanks for the great endorsement and don’t ever worry about talking too long!

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No one can entertain kids like Disney. While I haven't experienced a Disney cruise, I have done the "World" several times, and the non-Disney cruise lines just didn't do it for my kids like the resort kids' programs did.

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Disney pays a fortune for advertizing that doesn’t sound nearly as sincere as what you wrote Gina! Thanks for the great endorsement and don’t ever worry about talking too long!

LOL!! I swear, I'm not some secret shill for Disney... it only sounds like that, heh. I just love them. :-)

-gina-

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